With more than 6 million infections and more than 300,000 deaths (as of end of May 2020), the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to large scale lockdown around the world to prevent further spread of the disease.
From the initial effort of rapid diagnosis and containment, the international community is now facing the challenge of an effective and pragmatic “exit” strategy to balance the public health risk versus the huge economic losses as a result of the travel ban and lockdown measures globally.
Among the many challenges of onging COVID-19 investigation and repsonses, the follwong three stands out as the most pressing: 1) A good understanding of protective immunity and longevity of immunity to better advise/design “exit” strategy and policy; 2) Rapid development and deployment of COVID-19 vaccine(s) and a reliable testing platform capable of assessing and monitoring vaccine efficacy en masse; and 3) Investigation of virus origin and the early animal-to-human transmission events to prevent future outbreaks.
Serology will play a key role in all three areas. In this presentation, different serological platforms currently used for COVID-19 testing will be reviewed and compared together with the introduction of a novel platfom, the surrogate virus neutralization test (sVNT), that we have developed recently.
1. Challenges for next phase of COVID-19 outbreak
2. Role of serology in meeting some of these challenges